Earlier last year, I reviewed Koryta's "Cypress House." (Please see it on my blog in 2010) It was my first introduction to his writing. I became an immediate addict...Michael Koryta is a master storyteller. He is the type of author who could have us mesmerized for hours while we waited out a hurricane! And, we'd never even know we were in the midst of one except that it would be a fitting setting for his story. I could read his books in tandem and be entertained all week without boredom.
Koryta's genius, it seems to me, is that he draws us in right away by making the circumstances quite ordinary and believable. The first chapter leaves us with a handful of questions; some of them not so obvious until we muse upon them. So much fun to do that. And, from that moment on, we are hooked. We are driven by an urge to know...
His characters are so real, I feel as if I know them. They are easily visualized. They are easily understood from a psychological perspective. However, this doesn't mean all is immediately as it seems, ever, in a Koryta novel. My attention is driven by his type of characterization with the "brick hasn't yet fallen" suspense. What I'm trying to convey is that you think you can "see" the characters, but he always leaves you with that mote of doubt that irritates your seeker's eye.
I wasn't expecting the supernatural context of this novel. I frankly refrained from reading the overleaf because I didn't want to spoil a minute of the actual read for myself. That's how good Mr. Koryta is! So, I didn't expect this ghostly intrigue and it was a surprising addition for me. From his typical writing genre as I knew it from "Cypress House" it was an unusual twist. Reminiscent of the Gothic novel, it worked perfectly with a modern day police suspense/mystery in the end.
"The Ridge" is a book I couldn't stop reading until the end. I dreamt of it...I read it when I was eating, and I read it during commercials between the Casey Anthony murder trial. This gives you some idea of the intensity of the writing skills of this author. I'm obsessive about the Anthony Trial...and "The Ridge" tore me away at times!
I can do no more than strongly urge you to get to know Michael Koryta as an author with his mind and fingers on the pulse of new suspense/thriller writing. If there is an evolution of writers with vision in this genre, Michael Koryta is leading the curve. His work reminds me why I read suspense and thrillers.
Without going into the storyline of this book, which you can easily find on the regular book blurb for "The Ridge," I want to also say that it's a story that just left me with wide eyes and the feeling that it might really happen. I'm not one to chase after ghosts and demons, but this book made me think twice... You might want to leave the light on when you put it down at night...just sayin'